On the Integrity of Geminates in Moroccan Arabic: An Optimality-Theoretic account
This paper investigates the phonological behavior of geminate consonants in Moroccan Arabic. In particular, we focus on the issue of geminate integrity in the context of schwa epenthesis and word formation. We show that, despite the many apparent exceptions, the variable nature of geminate integrity in MA can be successfully accounted for along the lines of the Geminate Law (Benhallam, 1980) if the latter is reinterpreted in the Optimality Theory framework. In this regard, this paper promises the following contributions: (i) it provides a unified analysis of geminate integrity in MA; (ii) it accounts for the variability of geminate integrity through constraint interactions a la Optimality Theory; (iii) it reconciles the exceptional patterns of geminate integrity with the regular ones.
geminate behavior, geminate integrity, schwa epenthesis, word formation, phonology, Moroccan Arabic, optimality theory
A Root-and-prosody Approach to Templatic Morphology and Morphological Gemination in Moroccan Arabic
Morphological gemination consists of the systematic gemination of a segment associated with the systematic change in meaning of the affected base? (Samek-Lodovici, 1993). In Moroccan Arabic, morphological gemination characterizes the derivation of causative verbs, agent nouns and instrument nouns. It involves the lengthening of the second segment of some base root to express the intended morphological function. (e.g. ktb ‘to write’ >> kəttəb ‘to make write’). In the case of the agent and the instrument, lengthening the second segment is espoused with the presence of some vocalic material, namely the vowel /a/ (e.g. fəllaħ ‘farmer’ and səmmaʕa ‘headset’). Using the constraint-based framework of Optimality Theory, this paper will try to answer the following questions: (i) What is the morphological process responsible for morphological gemination in Moroccan Arabic? (ii) What is the morphological exponence of the causative, agent and instrument morphemes? (iii) How does the templatic shape of each form come to be?
Modeling Language Change in the St. Louis Corridor Jordan Kodner
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004819
The St. Louis Corridor extending from Chicago, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri has been described as a “breach” through the Midlands dialect region because of the presence of Inland North features there. Most notably, features associated with the Northern Cities Shift suddenly appeared in Corridor cities in the mid-20th century, but they have since largely retreated. A recent population study has uncovered complex relationships between the Corridor’s geography and this pattern of advance and retreat, and this work elaborates on that investigation through computational simulations of the Corridor’s population structure. Implementing a new network-analytic population model, I find support for Friedman’s original hypothesis that migration into cities along Route 66 imported Inland North features into the Corridor first before it spread outward to communities farther away from the route and uncover questions about the Corridor’s population that merit further study.
Learning Complex Segments Maria Gouskova, Juliet Stanton
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004815
Languages differ in the status of sequences such as [mb, kp, ts]: they can pattern as complex segments or as clusters of simple consonants. We ask what evidence learners use to figure out which representations their languages motivate. We present an implemented computational model that starts with simple consonants only, and builds more complex representations by tracking statistical distributions of consonant sequences. We demonstrate that this strategy is successful in a wide range of cases, both in languages that supply clear phonotactic arguments for complex segments and in languages where the evidence is less clear. We then turn to the typological parallels between complex segments and consonant clusters: both tend to be limited in size and composition. We suggest that our approach allows the parallels to be reconciled. Finally, we compare our model with alternatives: learning complex segments from phonotactics and from phonetics.
Meter, prosody and performance: evidence from the Faroese ballads Daniel Galbraith
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004802
In this paper, I argue that the folk ballad tradition of the Faroe Islands, to date never examined in detail by metrists, offers substantial empirical support for the necessity of maintaining the classic metrical template, as well as the distinction between metrical and prosodic structure: meter is an abstraction which can neither be collapsed into phonology, nor fundamentally detached from it (Kiparsky 2006, Blumenfeld 2015, pace Hayes & MacEachern 1998, Fabb & Halle 2008). The ballad performances also reveal a unidirectional correspondence from strong metrical positions to strong dance steps and strong musical beats, indicating that metrical prominence plays a significant role in determining rhythm. The Faroese tradition thus provides a window into the relation between metrical structure and performance. In support of my conclusions I draw upon both the ballad texts and audio-visual recordings of sections of sample ballads I made on the Faroe Islands.
Tonal Interactions in Nuer Nominal Inflection Siri Gjersøe
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004801
This dissertation is on the tonal system of nouns in Nuer, a Western Nilotic language. Tone in Nuer is an understudied topic and has mostly been ignored in previous studies. This dissertation demonstrates that tone has a primary role in nominal morpho-phonology involving tonal interactions of three components: lexical tone, L tone restrictions, and inflectional tone. I offer a stratal OT analysis of this based on a new assumption of bidirectional affectiveness. The empirical parts of this dissertation give evidence of tone in Nuer and its phonetic cues.
Plant Series, No. 1. Manuscript MS408. Gerard Cheshire
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004797
The plants individually described in Manuscript MS408 have all been identified as species from the environs of the Mediterranean Basin, in accordance with the location of origin for the manuscript. This series of papers presents each plant species separately with a translation of its accompanying text and any relevant cross-reference information. In addition to the linguistic value, there is plenty of historical, cultural and scientific knowledge to be gleaned from each of these manuscript pages, so they will be of interest to scholars from various disciplines.
Domains and Prominence in Nasal Harmonization of Maxakalí Loanwords Mário Coelho da Silva, Andrew Ira Nevins, James White
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004795
We examine the patterns of loanword adaptation in Maxakalí, a Macro-Jê language of Brazil, in importing loans from Brazilian Portuguese, with respect to the introduction of nasality and nasal harmony, based on a corpus of 18 speakers. Employing MaxEnt modeling of quantitative trends enabled the comparison and analysis of certain recurrent trends, even if not exceptionless, and the potentially additive effects of their interaction. The results reveal that nasal harmonization, modeled as set of markedness constraints, is greatly enforced within syllable rimes, and strongly enforced within syllables, but shows little role for syllable-to-syllable harmony, demonstrating that harmonization is preferred within tighter prosodic domains. Word-initial consonants always retain their nasality or orality from Portuguese, and stressed vowels always preserve their nasality. These latter effects uphold the role of prominent positions in maintaining contrasts within loanword phonology. The overall patterns of loanword harmonization find convergence with certain characteristics within Maxakalí phonology itself.
A Note on the Exclusivity of Human Language Sibansu Mukherjee
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004794
Human language is exclusive among all primary vocal communicating tools used in the kingdom animalia. However, there are debates on what makes human language exclusive. Among these debates, the most persuasive view is that human language is unique by the virtue of infinite syntactic recursion, which is universal to all human languages. The latest development of this view is backed by certain biological investigation and duly criticized by other scholars. In this paper, I argue that language is not a single product of a solitary process of evolution of the so-called linguistic species Homo sapiens. Thus, syntactic recursion may not be the universal aspect of all human languages. Syntactic recursion can be imagined only as an essential property of some developed languages that may not always be empirically observable. To consider human language as exclusive, I argue that human language in-itself is such a field where context-specific choice-based linguistic expressions are made up of certain syntagmatic relationships. These are substituted paradigmatically, instead of imagining language as a result of syntactic recursiveness, the fundamental function of universal grammar.
Tsimshianic Clarissa Forbes
direct link: http://ling.auf.net/lingbuzz/004784
[This is a language sketch of the Tsimshianic family oriented toward non-specialists, with reference to topics in phonetics, phonology, syntax, and semantics.] Languages of the Tsimshianic family, spoken in the Skeena River watershed of British Columbia, share a number of properties with other languages of the Pacific northwest region. Their sound inventories feature glottal consonants, and they permit clusters of consonants without vowels. Their word order is verb-first (VSO), and a central property of the grammar is a robust system of plural marking on both nouns and verbs. This chapter reviews topics in the sound system, word formation, and sentence building. In particular, I review two topics that commanded the majority of linguists’ attention until about a decade ago: glottalized sounds, and the agreement/pronoun system. This second is a complicated core area of the grammar, particularly for an L1 English learner, and is perhaps unique to Tsimshianic: linguists have described the pattern as one of ‘pivoting ergativity’ across two types of clauses. In the course of discussing sounds, words, and sentences, I also briefly review some more recent lines of linguistic work of interest to language learning and teaching: the placement of stress, mismatches between words and syntactic units, plural marking, tense and perspective, and ways to form questions and convey emphasis.